AFTER years of hard work a triangular oasis of urban greenery is ready for guided bushwalks.
Volunteers from the Friends of Inglewood Triangle have worked to restore the patch to a prime example of intact banksia woodland.
It’s needed weeding to keep out invasive weeds like veldt and black flag, careful quarantining to keep dieback at bay, cleaning to get rid of litter, and revegetation efforts to restore some of the degraded areas. Local school kids have been helping with planting, then Friends’ volunteers hand-water the plants for the first two years.
Friends’ secretary Sue Campbell tells us “it’s a very special little place, because other than Kings Park it’s the next closest spot to the CBD of remnant bushland.
“You can have a wildflower experience right in your own hood, right in the heart of suburban Inglewood.”
The spot’s an important refuge for wildlife: Small lizards, bobtails and bugs call it home, and many others stop by for a feed.
“The black cockies love the marri trees, in particular the honky nuts, because of the seeds inside them. They spot those and stop over and have a munch.” Ms Campbell says with all the dozens of types of birds “it’s quite a noisy spot at times”.
The triangle’s also rich with unsung heroes: Moulds and fungi like the Scotsman’s beard and the strawberry slime mould. Forty types have been found there, including some not yet identified by the group, and the plants are reliant on the fungi and moulds to thrive.
Ms Campbell says the value of fungi is under-appreciated: “They’re really the third kingdom: We’ve got plants, animals, and fungi, and we wouldn’t survive without fungi. It’s very early days for us in mapping out fungi: We’re just appreciating how important they are for orchids and providing nutrients for plants.
“It’s fascinating when you’re looking for orchids: You can only find orchids if there’s the fungi underground they’re feeding on.”
The triangle’s always open to the public but they’re now prepared to invite more in for bushwalks. Along with getting the bushland up to a healthy level, newly installed three-stage dieback cleaning stations help stop the pathogen spreading.
The spring walks run on various dates from September 6 to November 1, are an easy 45 minute walk, and they’re free but book via eventbrite (search “Friends of Inglewood Triangle Reserve Spring Walks”).
From gravel to grand
The Friends’ group goes back to the early 90s, when the triangle was Stirling council’s storage ground for sand, gravel and equipment. Some locals got together to write to the council asking for a halt to the vegetation slashing program there, as it was taking down weed and native plant alike.
In 1993 the Inglewood Ward Ratepayers and Progress Association wrote to the council and requested the triangle
be separated from the larger recreation reserve that also houses the golf club. The National Trust declared the area to have natural heritage significance, and the council agreed to make it a “class A” reserve for the purpose of preserving the landscape.
Thirty-five people showed up to the first wildflower walk in 1995.
Members came and went over the years and the Friends group faded away at the end of the millennium, until being revived in 2007 when concerns were growing about the council’s use of sprays to tackle weeds.
In 2010 they were successful in getting all spraying stopped, and pledged to weed the triangle by hand, and the group now gets council backing through staff support and funding for Friends groups.
Local schools have also helped along the way, and Perth College Kindergarten “adopted’ the triangle and its students head along to help with conservation work regularly through the school year.
“We’ve got a great group of people now,” Ms Campbell says, but adds “we’ve still got lots of work to do”.